Hot, young up-and-comer says bass is “not a background instrument”
By Mindy Rochwerg
December 3, 2014
Twenty-four year old Chance Wilder Onody is starting to get noticed, and deservedly so. Primarily self-taught, Onody, has been described as a “virtuoso bassist” and “classical crossover instrumentalist.” Chance recently sat down with FBPO’s Jon Liebman to talk about his musical upbringing, unique style and what lies ahead.
Onody, whose mother, Tara Wilder, was a country pop artist, first took up the bass when he moved with his family from British Columbia, Canada, to California. Upon transferring to his new school, Chance had the choice of two electives – Orchestra and Introduction to Marine Biology. Not wanting to have more homework than necessary, Onody (pronounced “ON-ID-DEE”) chose orchestra, though was quickly surprised to find out that the “stringed instruments” in the course description did not include guitar. When advised so by the musical director, Chance took a look at the instruments, saw the bass and said to himself, “It’s big, I’m big, it only has four strings – how hard can it be?”
With no prior experience other than some piano lessons and having played ukulele for a short time, Chance, who says he has a “keen sense of pitch,” told the musical director he could play the upright bass and proceeded to intently watch the other bass player in the orchestra. From that limited exposure, Onody was able to pick up enough to play the new instrument with the rest of the orchestra, even though he had never before held a bow. He says he “fell in love with the instrument.”